|[August 11, 2014]
IT Cost Management Survey from IDG Confirms CIOs Seek Mainframe Extensibility and Cost Control
ATLANTA --(Business Wire)--
Recent IDG research, commissioned by GT Software, a leader in helping
enterprise organizations unify business information across any platform,
data format or programming language, reveals that the majority of
mainframe customers want more capability for supporting new initiatives,
including Web, mobile and customer engagement.
While cost control of mainframe systems and mainframe application
development is a top concern, IT leaders also want strategies and tools
to make the mainframe extensible by adding functionality with minimal
impact on current systems.
The survey, conducted between April and May, was sent to more than 7,500
U.S. technology professionals, including CIOs, CTOs, CSOs, IT and
financial managers. The participant's organizations ranged in size from
100 to 20,000+ employees across several industry segments: finance,
banking, state and local government, healthcare, insurance,
manufacturing, retail, transportation and utilities.
IT Seeks Guidance for Mainframe Cost and Productivity Challenges
When asked to rank top mainframe challenges, maintenance and upgrade
costs were cited by 62 percent with operational costs cited by 58
percent. Other significant concerns included: staff familiarity with
mainframe programming languages (40 percent); interoperability (34
percent); and access to data for business operations (32 percent).
In terms of top areas to improve productivity of the mainframe,
respondents listed: application development and time-to-market (46
percent); IT department backlog (41 percent); transferring data to other
sources (29 percent); and batch processing/run time costs (29 percent).
Does Mainframe Modernization Answer the Call?
"The mainframe is a staple for most companies, and this survey points to
clear areas of opportunity for CIOs and IT managers to leverage their
existing mainframe assets in support of innovation and increased
business value," says Scott Lance, president of GT Software.
According to GT Software Vice President of Development Adam Redd,
"Modernizing the mainframe, which has long-supported business-critical
data and applications, creates tremendous cost savings and increased
efficiencies. Moreover, by providing easier access and use of mainframe
data for both internal and external customers, IT leaders can invigorae
operations and extend the life of their technology investment while
creating new revenue opportunities."
Mainframe servers continue to play a significant role in the global IT
infrastructure. According to recent information from SHARE Inc., 96
percent of the world's top banks, 23 percent of the Top 25 U.S.
retailers, and nine out of 10 of the world's largest insurance companies
run on IBM (News - Alert) System z mainframe servers, and mainframe systems process
about 30 billion transactions per day.
Is Migration Away From the Mainframe the Key?
More than half of the respondents (54 percent) plan to migrate to new
computing platforms in the next few years. The top drivers of migration
include: performance improvements (54 percent); modernizing user
interfaces (50 percent); added flexibility to access data (50 percent);
and lowering costs (48 percent).
"Those considering new computing platforms should use a proven
methodology to analyze their options from a revenue and performance
standpoint before making a switch," advises Mr. Lance. "Strategic
decisions about legacy migration or modernization should always be based
on a formal system assessment. This proven approach provides visibility
into existing system dependencies, evaluation of cost/potential savings,
time frame projections and risk. If the decision to migrate is made,
there should be further investigation of the tools available to make the
transition fast, easy and seamless."
Code Conversion Critical to Removing Obstacles & Improving
More than 42 percent of respondents currently run COBOL applications on
the mainframe. These COBOL users cited a need to increase performance
and create mobile and Web interoperability. However, the time and
expense of converting COBOL code to a language that runs on a
distributed environment was also noted as a concern.
"For mainframe users wanting to transition COBOL applications to render
on a mobile device without the painstaking task of converting years of
COBOL code to other languages, the news is good" said Redd. "For these
companies, both easy modernization (with mobile-enabling integration
tools), and migration to the .NET (News - Alert) platform via NetCOBOL can offer cost
saving and effective solutions."
IT to Support Business Innovations in Demand
At its highest level, the IDG research showcases the reality of concerns
for today's IT departments, in particular the mainframe's challenges and
opportunities for playing a key role in supporting new business
initiatives," concluded Lance. "No matter what the strategy,
modernization or migration, IT must drive innovation by providing
seamless access to the business-critical data needed to create
innovative, flexible Web or mobile platforms and improve customer
About GT Software
For more than 30 years GT Software has helped enterprise organizations
align their IT infrastructure with business strategy by unifying
business information across mainframe and emerging server platforms,
data formats or programming languages. More than 2,500 organizations
across the globe trust GT Software's solutions to improve customer
experiences, operational efficiency and innovation. For more
information, visit www.gtsoftware.com.
GT Software and all other GT Software products and service names are
registered trademarks or trademarks of GT Software. All other trademarks
or registered trademarks belong to their respective companies. © 2014,
GT Software. All rights reserved.
International Data Group (IDG) is the world's leading technology media,
events and research company. Founded in 1964 and headquartered in
Boston, Massachusetts, IDG products and services reach an audience of
more than 280 million technology buyers in 97 countries.
IDG Communications' global media brands include ChannelWorld®, CIO®,
CSO®, Computerworld®, GamePro®, InfoWorld®, Macworld®, Network World (News - Alert)®,
PCWorld® and TechWorld®. IDG's media network features 460 websites, 200
mobile sites and apps, and 180 print titles spanning business
technology, consumer technology, digital entertainment, and video games
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